Michael Vonk, NSRI Wilderness duty controller, said: At 12h30, Wednesday, 14th February, NSRI Wilderness duty crew were activated after we received a call on our NSRI emergency phone from bystanders reporting a drowning in progress at Herolds Bay.
3 men were reportedly being swept out to sea in rip currents at Herolds Bay (on the Eastern side along the rocks). Two of the men had reportedly gone after the 3rd man, who was originally caught in rip currents, to try to assist him but then they were all caught in rip currents.
The caller who raised the alarm, Jessica Barnard, from George, confirmed that her husband, Seth Barnard (32), and her father in-law, Abraham Vos (58), had both gone into the surf to swim out to try assist the three men.
Mr Barnard had run up the beach to grab the NSRI pink rescue flotation buoy (that is positioned at the entrance to beach) and to also fetch their two body boards. He and Mr Vos entered the water with the NSRI pink rescue flotation buoy and the 2 body boards.
NSRI Wilderness rescue crew were responding directly to the scene while additional NSRI crew members were preparing the sea rescue craft Clement Gold Rescuer and our NSRI rescue vehicle to tow the sea rescue craft to the scene.
Mr Barnard and Mr Vos were able to reach two of the casualties who had been pulled out into deep surf towards the end of the Bay. The 3rd casualty had been separated from the other 2 men and he had managed to swim back to shore unassisted.
The 2 good Samaritans, Mr Vos and Mr Barnard, on reaching the 2 casualties they were able to calm both of the casualties and then they encouraged and assisted the 2 casualties to swim back safely to shore using the pink rescue buoy and the 2 body boards as flotation aids.
The 2 casualties, men, aged 30 and 34, both from Johannesburg, were not injured and they required no medical assistance. The 3rd man was also not injured.
Our responding NSRI crew were stood down after it was confirmed that all swimmers and the casualties were safe.
Mr Barnard and Mr Vos are both acknowledged for their brave action today, for going to the assistance of the casualties, using the NSRI pink rescue flotation buoy and the 2 body boards, and for having the presence of mind to take all of the additional flotation aids with them, and assisting to prevent the two men from drowning.
The caller, Mrs Jessica Barnard, is commended for immediately calling the telephone number displayed on the sign of the NSRI pink emergency floatation buoy and calling NSRI Wilderness Station 23 directly to raise the alarm.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE